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Parents of 2 among 3 dead after falling into icy Arizona lake

Victims apparently wanted to take pictures on ice, sheriff's office spokesman says
In this image provided by the Coconino County, Ariz., Sheriff's Office, a search team works to recover two of three people who drowned after they fell through the ice at Woods Canyon Lake in Forest Lakes, Ariz., on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. The Coconino County Sheriff's Office confirmed the identities of 49-year-old Narayana Muddana and his wife, Haritha Muddana, and 47-year-old Gokul Mediseti, all Indian nationals, of Chandler, Ariz.
Posted at 1:02 PM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 13:04:37-05

FOREST LAKES, Ariz. — A mother and father of two as well as another parent, all Indian nationals, were the drowning victims recovered from a frigid Arizona lake.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office confirmed the identities of 49-year-old Narayana Muddana and his wife, Haritha Muddana, and 47-year-old Gokul Mediseti.

Authorities say deputies in Forest Lakes responded Monday afternoon to reports that three people were missing in Woods Canyon Lake.

Rescuers pulled Haritha Muddana from the water, but she was pronounced dead. The two men were found the next day.

Narayana Muddana, Haritha Muddana and Gokul Mediseti all died when after falling through a frozen lake in Arizona.
Narayana Muddana, Haritha Muddana and Gokul Mediseti (left to right) all died when after falling through a frozen lake in Arizona.

Jon Paxton, a sheriff's office spokesman, told ABC-15 TV in Phoenix that the trio were part of a group of three families who had driven up from their homes in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. They had wanted to enjoy the outdoors the day after Christmas.

It appeared they "wanted to get some pictures out on the ice," Paxton said.

That's when the three parents fell through.

A family friend who lives next door to the Muddanas is caring for their two young daughters until they can be reunited with grandparents, Phoenix's AZFamily.com reported Wednesday.

A GoFundMe purported to be for the families has already raised over half a million dollars.